maremagnum – word of the day

well actually it’s so great I think it should be word of the month or maybe even year…

a friend in Madrid just wrote me the following,

I’m still in the maremagnum of closing the [business] year

I’ve never heard the word before but I just knew it to be perfect for what Miguel was describing…

here is the translation from a Spanish/English dictionary from Granada University… (I love the baroque Spanish translations):

= welter, maelstrom.
Ex: Without language we would go bumping around in the dark and eventually take leave of our senses under the welter of the incomprehensible, withdrawing, as some people do, into a closed world in order to protect ourselves against the unbearable onslaught.
Ex: Specific types of information are considered imperative to decipher the intricate process of surviving in a modern, mid-nineties maelstrom of socio-economic crises.

when you look at the translation into German, there is a terse

maremagnum= Mischmasch

no examples… still, I think the German gives us a good feeling for the word.

As for origin:

magnum from Latin, meaning great

and mare, meaning ocean/sea

some other translations suggest: maelstrom, confusion

and here is the Spanish definition:

(Del lat. mare magnum, mar grande).
1. m. Abundancia, grandeza o confusión.
2. m. Muchedumbre confusa de personas o cosas.

Living near the sea, I’m particularly intrigued with the latin root mare… I don’t really think of the ocean as being particularly confused – turbulent at times – but not confused and certainly not a mishmash.

Now, the challenge is to use maremagnum… any takers?

How about this:

My new project is a maremagnum of ideas and images.

I don’t think this does the word justice….


2 thoughts on “maremagnum – word of the day

  1. If my skull were a parfait glass, you’d see the gooey maremagnum. Alas, these days my thoughts are nothing but caramel streaks in what remains of the whipped cream.

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